RenTech Co-CEO Brown To Testify On Tax Strategy

Jul 21 2014 | 10:52am ET

One of Renaissance Technologies’ two co-CEOs will travel to Capitol Hill tomorrow to defend his firm’s use of a controversial tax practice.

Peter Brown will testify before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations tomorrow. That panel is looking into firms’ use of “basket options” to avoid paying the higher short-term capital gains rate on returns from high-frequency trading strategies. Joining Brown will be RenTech CFO Mark Silber and lawyer Jonathan Mayer.

In addition to the RenTech delegation, Barclays Americas chief administrative office Gerard LaRocca and managing director Martin Malloy, and Deutsche Bank prime brokerage co-chief Barry Bausano and managing director Satish Ramakrishna, will also testify.

The Internal Revenue Service last year challenged RenTech’s use of what it called a “particularly aggressive” tax-avoidance technique. RenTech has said the strategy is “appropriate under current law.”

Brown does not have to travel far to speak to the Senators: While RenTech is based in East Setauket, N.Y., Brown has lived in Washington, D.C., since 2009, when his wife, Margaret Hamburg, was appointed commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by President Barack Obama.

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